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New Moon Rising and Ginger Garlic Pickled Carrots

November 13, 2012

Pickled Carrots with Ginger and Garlic

Ding. Ding. Ding.

“New Moon 4:08PM.”

I set calendar reminders for new and full moons. The lunar cycle provides me with a framework for measuring progress in my life. When the new moon is approaching, I set intentions, goals, big dreams, little dreams, and maybe a few well wishes for good measure. I’ve long been a believer that to achieve something, you first must be able to visualize it. When the new moon rises, new visions are born and old ones are strengthened. The absence of moonlight fills me with hope, my slate wiped clean.

Be more compassionate.
Continue start meditating.
Have more sex.
Wash the walls on the second floor.
Get a new gig that pays enough to hire someone to wash the walls.
Write more.
Take a Photoshop lesson.
Become a better photographer.
Play your guitar more again.
Call Dr. T. about your back pain.
Do your back exercises.
Learn how to quick pickle carrots.
Finish writing the damn book.
Be kinder to yourself.
Stop procrastinating with emails.
Bake a croissant that reminds me of France.
Slow down.
Run a sub-seven-minute mile.
Stop obsessing about running exercise.
Learn the secret to the perfect baked chocolate cake donut.
Lose those last five ten pounds.

Sometimes, my intentions read like a corporate strategic plan. Other times I whittle it down to a single aspiration:

Be kind.

Or maybe just…

Be.

In spite of the contradictions that often populate my intention list, my optimism is renewed with each new moon. Maybe, just maybe, it will be different this time. A couple weeks later when the full moon rises, I consider my progress. The glowing orb in the night sky shines down on me, at times congratulating me, at other times cruelly mocking me for my fool-hearted optimism in the wake of repeated failure.

Why are the easiest commitments to break—the most important commitments–the ones we make to ourselves? I’ll promise a near stranger that I’ll email them a recipe by Friday. And I’ll deliver on time or maybe even a day early. The thought of reneging never, ever occurs to me. Earlier that same week I might have promised myself that I’d play my guitar—something that relaxes me, brings me unspeakable joy, and fuels my creativity–but by the week’s end the frets of my guitar were dusty. In those instances when I look in my rear-view mirror, I’m filled with disappointment and sometimes a bit of shame.

From here I could easily slide onto a therapist’s couch. We could discuss the importance of saying “no”, something I learned in my early 30s from my first therapist. We could dissect my dreams for clues. We could shine a light in the dark corner of my mind where the little girl who doesn’t think she’s worthy likes to hide. But we’re out of time. The new moon is almost here, and I can already feel my spirits lifting. It’s time to close my eyes and let my head fill with possibilities. And after that I’m going to play my guitar. This time will be different.

Ginger Garlic Pickled Carrots

Ingredients

    1 pound large carrots, peeled and cut into 3/8×4-inch sticks (You can also use baby carrots.)
    2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
    1 2/3 cups unseasoned rice vinegar
    1/3 cup sugar
    1 tablespoon garlic, minced
    1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

Preparation

  1. Combine salt, vinegar, sugar, garlic, and ginger and stir until the salt and sugar dissolve. Add the carrots and let marinate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight, before serving. The thicker the carrots, the longer it will take for the flavors to develop.
  2. Store in an airtight jar and refrigerate for up to one month.
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3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 13, 2012 4:44 pm

    These look wonderful Bob! So fresh and inspiring – thank you!

  2. December 2, 2012 7:21 pm

    We should go to the monthly free lunch time meditation that we talked about going years ago. I bet we both with benefit and enjoy it.

  3. July 2, 2013 11:44 am

    Making my second batch since trying them at the appetizer lesson! I think I ate the first pound in two days 🙂

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